Pakistan can help promote peace and social cohesion in society

International scholars presenting at the conference come from countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Germany, Canada and United States.

78

Islamabad (VOM). : The Quaid-i-Azam University in collaboration with Silk Road Centre and International Institute for Central Asian Studies (Uzbekistan) is organizing an international conference and art festival on the Buddhist heritage of Pakistan. The conference and art festival are being held at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts from March 14-15, 2022. Conference activities include research sessions, an exhibition of artworks, and trips to key Buddhist heritage sites in the Gandhara region of Pakistan. The event is designed to promote the value of Pakistan’s ancient cultural and religious heritage for peace and tourism. It also brings together diverse religious faith leaders including Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs to establish a dialogue. Over 40 Pakistani and international scholars and 30 artists will be presenting their research and artworks at the two-day event. International scholars presenting at the conference come from countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Germany, Canada, and United States. A delegation of 10 Buddhist women leaders from Malaysia will be visiting Pakistan specifically to participate in the conference activities and post-conference trips to Gandharan Buddhist sites.

As a holy land for millions of Buddhist devotees, Pakistan houses Buddhist heritage sites, art, and iconography of unmatched significance for devotees, scholars, and travelers. The 2022 international conference and art festival together with site visits provide a platform to explore the Gandharan Buddhist history, philosophy, art, and architecture.

The conference sessions and art exhibition cover five key themes. Among these, three themes explore Buddhist history, philosophy, art, and architecture flourished in the areas forming today’s Pakistan and transmitted to Afghanistan, Central Asia, China, Japan, Korea, and other countries by arteries of the famous Silk Road. These themes include: 1) Buddhism in Pakistan – History and Philosophy; 2) Development of Gandharan Art and Architecture; and 3) Road to Buddhism: From Lumbini to Gandhara and beyond the Silk Road. One of the five themes is devoted to deliberating upon how diverse religions in Pakistan can help promote peace and social cohesion in society. Under the fifth and final theme, local and international scholars will discuss approaches and strategies to promote religious tourism in Pakistan.

Both in-person and online panel sessions will provide an opportunity for multiple presenters to speak on a common theme of the conference. Presentations by the panelists will be followed by questions and answers. Together with research presentations, the art festival happening concurrently with the conference features artworks showcased by young and established artists. Their works will present the outstanding beauty of the Buddhist art of Gandhara. The artwork will be on display throughout the conference. After two days of the conference and art festival, attendees will visit key Gandharan Buddhist sites and archaeological museums in Taxila, Peshawar, Mardan, and Swat.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Newsletter
close-link